A Catholic Monthly Magazine

Death of a Marist

Fr John Worthington SM

Fr John David Worthington SM

rn: 29 December 1948

Professed: 2 February 1967

Ordained: 25 May  1974

Died:  1 April 2022 at Royal North Shore Hospital.

John was born at Murwillumbah, the second of two girls and four boys. 

John joined the Marists at Toongabbie. He was in the first group to do university studies at Macquarie and graduated BA in 1972. He spent 1973 at the Marist seminary at Greenmeadows, NZ where he was ordained deacon. 

After priestly ordination he taught at Marist College, Burnie, Tasmania. In 1978 he spent a year in Belmont parish, Perth to complete a Dip Ed after which he taught at St Paul's College, Bellambi, NSW, in 1979 and 1980 before commencing seven years at St John's Woodlawn boarding school as Rector. Enrolments over the period lifted to 429. 

In 1988 Fr John pursued Marist Studies in Rome and then a program of spiritual renewal at ISL in Chicago, concluding with a Master of Pastoral Studies at Loyola University. In 1990 and in 1991 he taught at Marist colleges in Burnie and Bellambi. 

In 1992 Fr John joined the Marist Mission District of Africa, based in Yaoundé, Cameroon, working with African Marist seminarians. He became superior of the formation community, and worked in vocation ministry, English teaching and radio and retreat work. 

In 1998 he worked at St Patrick's in Sydney before taking up parish work on the south-side of Brisbane. 

In 2006 Fr John enjoyed a period of renewal. On return from a family wedding in France and as he began a new appointment at The Gap parish, Brisbane, he suffered a life-threatening stroke from which he partially recovered but which was to affect his health in subsequent years. 

Fr John joined the Marist community at Herston, Brisbane, and engaged in pastoral work in the archdiocese for some years before retiring at Montbel, Hunters Hill, where his health continued to decline. Some days after being admitted to hospital with COVID-19, a condition exacerbated by many health preconditions, Fr John died peacefully on the morning of the first of April, 2022. 

May he rest in peace.

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